Woman accused of molesting boy pleads guilty

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - A 30-year-old woman who believed she was in a ''fantasy relationship'' with her daughter's 8-year-old playmate admitted having repeated sexual contact with the boy and accepted a plea deal Monday that likely will send her to prison for six years.

Tammy Imre pleaded guilty to two counts of risk of injury to a minor, a reduced charge that the boy's family accepted to spare both children time on the witness stand.

Former Illinois governor on trial for corruption

CHICAGO - Former Illinois Republican Gov. George Ryan was relaxed and smiling Monday in federal court as attorneys began selecting a jury for his racketeering trial.

Ryan, who won accolades from capital punishment critics by clearing the state's death row before he left office in 2003, faces 22 charges of racketeering conspiracy, mail fraud, lying to the FBI and tax fraud.

Soldier plans to fight prisoner abuse charges

SAN ANTONIO - Army Pfc. Lynndie England will abandon her earlier courtroom strategy and fight charges that she was a key participant in detainee abuse by guards at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, her lawyer said.

The 22-year-old reservist, who appears in a series of graphic photos taken inside Abu Ghraib, was to go on trial today at Fort Hood, Texas, on seven counts of mistreating prisoners.

She will be the last of a group of junior enlisted soldiers charged with Abu Ghraib abuses to have their cases resolved.

Jury signals possible deadlock in Gotti case

NEW YORK - A federal jury deliberating the case of John A. ''Junior'' Gotti indicated Monday that it was deadlocked on a racketeering charge against the son of the late mob boss.

In a note to U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin on the seventh day of deliberations, jurors asked what they should do if they were deadlocked over the question of Gotti's so-called withdrawal defense.

Gotti, 41, claims he quit the Gambino organized crime family before July 22, 1999, meaning the five-year statute of limitations would have expired on racketeering charges.

Coal sludge case settled

INEZ, Ky. - People who live in a community deluged with more than 300 million gallons of gooey black coal sludge five years ago reached an out-of-court settlement on Monday with the coal company at the center of one of the South's worst ecological disasters.

- From wire reports